The digital workplace demands mobile-first, cloud-first networking

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We are moving to a future where every business is a digital workplace and every customer experience is a digital experience. Today's #GenMobile workforce is driving the change. They are always connected to the people, information and things they need. For them, the experience is everything.

As employees, they expect unified communications, rich media, and all their favorite business apps on their phones and other mobile devices. As consumers, they expect interactions with their favorite brands to be personalized and flawless. In fact, Gartner says that 89% of companies will compete primarily based on customer experience by 2016.

The network must change

Delivering on these expectations means moving to a mobile-cloud world. It's what the people want, but it has significant implications for how you build the network.

The mobile-cloud imperative is changing how workplaces, schools, hospitals and stores are designed and built. Campus and branch offices are moving to an open, more modular design and an all-wireless workplace. People expect mission-critical wireless connectivity at all times, and businesses are embracing 802.11ac Wi-Fi to connect more people, more devices and more apps. Today, when the Wi-Fi goes down, business stops.

In the data center, businesses need the ability to roll out new technology-driven applications and services faster, and adapt to changing business conditions with great agility. But today, the network still moves at human speed. When more compute power is needed, workloads can be created dynamically. But when the network needs to be changed to support changing application and workload needs, it's a manual process. It takes an expert at the command-line—or a guru at scripting—to make the configuration changes and it could take hours or weeks. It needs to be real time. It needs to be instantaneous.

Software-defined and composable infrastructure will ease the pain. The data center must become more responsive and flexible to meet the demands of a digital business. Workloads must be able to migrate freely—not only to different parts of the same data center but also across data centers in different locations.

Security will adapt

Security must evolve for a mobile-cloud world, too. With the consumerization of IT and the need to serve a mix of corporate and personally managed devices, tried and true security approaches need to be reevaluated.

Fortunately, the network is getting a lot smarter about security and is adapting its defenses. IT will no longer be burdened with keeping thousands or millions of mobile devices healthy, and your business can responsibly manage its risk.

Mobile requirements have made huge leaps since the beginning of the decade, when enterprise 802.11n networks were primarily designed as convenience BYOD overlay networks.  With mobility at the heart of so many business strategies, network engineers must partner with business stakeholders to re-baseline the core requirements of connectivity.  The technology now exists to rapidly provision mobile apps at scale and deliver them reliably.  Just ask global organizations that rely upon our wireless and data center solutions to power their businesses everyday.  For companies like Warner Brothers, investments in mobility and the digital workplace have created new levels of flexibility and innovation in the filmmaking creative process.